Steve Clarke puts West Brom dip down to lost focus

Albion boss Steve Clarke today admitted a loss of focus from his out-of-contract players might have played a part in the Baggies’ post-Christmas struggles.

Soccer - Barclays Premier League - Southampton v West Bromwich Albion - St Marys

Clarke’s men finished eighth in the Premier League but won just four of their final 21 games in all competitions after their flying start to the season put them third in November.

The Hawthorns head coach defended his players’ efforts but admitted concerns about their own futures might have affected some of his stars.

“I think it’s wrong just to analyse the last eight weeks and say everything is terrible,” said Clarke.

“There are some mitigating factors in the second half of the season – loss of key players and a loss of form to key players that probably came about because there’s a bit of fatigue in the squad.

“We had a lot of players who were on short contracts and contracts that were running out towards the end of the season. Maybe they started thinking a bit more about their future rather than the team.”

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Comments for: "Steve Clarke puts West Brom dip down to lost focus"


All the more reason to increase the squad numbers then! I think it's about time we spent a bit more money to ensure we get better quality players, and more of them. What happened last season was the players that came in to the side due to injuries and suspensions weren't up to the standard of those they replaced. We don't want a repeat of this situation next season. We've had a great season, our best yet, but as Gareth McAuley said "We could have done so much better" I'm not saying we should spend over £10 million on players, but I do think to get better quality players on long term contracts we need to up the ante to around that figure. The time has come to show ambition, to enable us to improve and progress. The crowds will follow a successful team, then we can start thinking of increasing the capacity, but not if we don't have the players to warrant it. We can't afford to run a premiership club on championship policies! Come on Albion show your loyal supporters that you mean business!

amsterdam baggie

careful what you wish for,splashing the cash dont mean succsess ,i.e leeds and more recently arrys barmy overpaid army

Jack ♣ Hat.


Wonder if Chelsea have another up and coming youngster they want bringing on, position immaterial as long as it one we want to fill. Jose Mourinho says Romelu Lukaku will not be allowed to leave Chelsea next season so we need two decent strikers to fill the void. I agree ALBION shouldn't over reach with prices as we still need to build slowly and surely. That will allow us to consolidate in the Premiership and fill the coffers. One step at a time, eh mate.


CantelloRocket 78


I recently saw a blog written by a Chelsea fan, and he came up with an idea that he was very serious about-

he said if Lukaku does return to Chelsea, they should send the Baggies another loan striker in his place-

Fernando Torres!!

Well if Romelu returns, and Maurinho comes in with plans to buy another top striker, they'd have Torres on the bench, and they wouldn't want him at one of their immediate rivals-

unlikely and controversial, but who knows!! :-)


Terry fair play to you

I tend not to talk about money and how much we should spend etc, i mean after all we 'have' made Premiership status doing it our way.

These currant players with additions can move forward they are a talented bunch.

For me it is attitude and application, and i strongly believe this is the Manager/Coach's responsibility, i just feel that we have been to lax in a fair few performancies. How, SC can introduce a more steely and positive frame of thinking into the players minds, i don't know, but this is what is required.

Positively Faithful


Terry, I'm always slightly amused when I hear supporters say "We need to spend X amount of money to get a better quality of player", as if it will guarantee a player is good enough. How many times have we seen expensive players not make the grade, Luke Moore for example or to take an example from another club, Fernando Torres.

What we are doing is working so why change it, why fix something that aint broke?

CantelloRocket 78


you talk of being ambitious, and bringing in quality players-

purely out of interest-

Last season, West Ham brought in about 12 players, including Andy Carroll, Matt Jarvis, Joe Cole and Yossi Benayoun-

Fulham brought in about 11 players, such as Berbatov, Rodellega, and Frimpong-

Newcastle brought in about 10, at a cost of over 25 million-

Sunderland brought in a dozen - Fletcher, Graham, and Adam Johnson alone cost nearly 30 mil.-

and Stoke paid out nearly 20 mil. for the likes of Charlie Adam, Michael Owen, etc., to go with Peter Crouch.

Their Managers were Sam Allardyce, Martin Jol, Alan Pardew, Martin O'Neill, and Tony Pulis-

all very experienced, and all down as great motivators-

yet they ALL finished below the Baggies.

So maybe Albion and Steve Clarke did something worthy of praise, and theory is just that - it's what you achieve with what you have that's important, so too much criticism is a little harsh, don't you think.....?

Boing Baggie

78 i see you posting to me at 2:30am hope your not losing sleep over me dear boy.

CantelloRocket 78

Boing Baggiewolfboy-

it's a bank holiday weekend, so us adults can stay up as long as we like-

we don't have our Mummy 'tucking' us into bed at 9.00 p.m. like you, with a bedtime story about 'Big Bad Jez'-

Viva Moxey!!!

Ha ha ha ha ha..........


Splashing the cash won't do it - look down the road! And Doyle isn't likely to be the bloke you need either - not a Prem player surely, though Sako would be a fantastic replacement for Odd-man-wingie. Good luck!

The Real Bully Hoo.


In the sixties Dave Bowen managed Northampton Town from the 4th division to the first. Because they weren't big enough they then went from the 1st back down to the 4th. Dave Bowen wasn't sacked but was moved to another job in the club. He was a victim of his own success.

Because we've steadily improved since the turn of the century, some people think that we can keep doing this. Think about it, the only way we can do this is to win the Premier League eventually followed by the Champions League and then what?

We lack an 80,000 capacity stadium. We lack a fan base to fill it if we had one and we lack a billionaire owner to bank roll us to compete with Real, Bayern and the rest. We may have to accept that at least for the time being we've reached our peak position.

If you're talking about consolidating this position I agree but it has to be done within our very restricted means. If you compare finances then the only clubs we have the right to finish higher than in the league are Norwich and possibly Swansea and its touch and go with both of them.

CantelloRocket 78


you can - and should - analyse last season, but as some of us keep saying, it was a 9 month campaign that covered 38 league games, so what will be remembered in the record books is the total achievement for season 2012-13 -

we now wipe the slate clean, and use what's happened before as 'feedback' to make adjustments in the future.

As they say in the science of NLP, you only fail when you stop trying, so we now push forward for the challenge of next season, with a fresh outlook, and this summer's activity viewed with interest.

Onwards and upwards.......!!!

Jack ♣ Hat.


Dave McDonough is going to be a busy man during the closed season. your other post sums up brilliantly the old adage, money isn't everything.



If they were thinking about contracts, they should have been playing out of their skins. We lost form when Mulumbu went to African Nations and then Yacob was either injured or suspended. We need a replacement to stand in for either of these two. They are stalwarts of the team. Thorne looked good, but not the same type of player. Could Tamas be redefined ?

Jack ♣ Hat.


Your sentiments are creditable regards some of the many problems that arose throughout a difficult season. All credit to Steve Clarke for coming through his debut with colours flying in my opinion.




I think we also missed Thorne as he would have been the natural replacement for either Yacob or Mulumbu.....mind you if you took the first choice midfield out of any side the whole balance suffers...if Thorne and Gera had not had long term injuries would we have finished with more points?? You do raise an interesting question with Tamas.....move him forward to sit in front of the back 4.....



amsterdam baggie

er steve actually that was your job to motivate

Jack ♣ Hat.

amsterdam ,

How can he motivate when he doesn't know about their contracts being extended or not, either?.



Pinch of Salt

You don't have to unerstand or follow football to get your head around this article, contracts are played out from > here ------ to ------ here < there are no inbetweens, 'self confessed', so why did'nt the coach introduce two or three young fringe players or experiment in some ways. Again i won't name names, but it was glaringly obvious that two or three well established players were not delivering.

keeping the faith

Jack ♣ Hat.


You know as well as I do that bringing in youngsters too early can do more harm than good. It is a nice touch to sit a couple on the bench for experience but not to push them too hard. Isaiah Brown had a little taster for a few minutes, that's fine, but no way should he play regularly at his age if you get my gist mate. Counting our long term injuries, players on international duty, a couple of youngsters on the bench depleted our squad and as Steve points out players worrying over their contracts also comes into the equation. All the best.



J & H

If this comes over as sounding pedantic so be it.

'Professionals' whatever trade they ply, should probably, have written into their contracts before they 'sign'.

I 'will commit' myself 100% to the necessary requirements outlined in this document of contract.

It is worth remembering, many top professionals worry if they feel they are not giving of their best, for one reason or another.

Keep the Faith

Jack ♣ Hat.


I agree, but at the same time mate the human factor kicks in. No-one can help worrying.

(, so why didn't the coach introduce two or three young fringe players or experiment in some ways)

I was picking up on your bracketed statement above. Also my main point is the squad ended up weakened by many reasons and other players began to go stale because they were overworked but still as a seasons whole they were brilliant. All the best.


Turkish baggie

Did we stop paying them then

Jack ♣ Hat.


We have had a really good season as a whole. Your debut season has been an all-round successful one, £60,000,000+ says so. We now have to replace our best two strikers out of three. Full-back position have to be sorted as do the wing berths. The centre-back positions are well covered by Olsson, G-Mac,Dawson and Tamas. One more covering defensive ball winner is also needed. I have a feeling Rosenberg will come good, not necessarily as an out and out striker. I also realise I am not telling you anything you don't already know, but it is nice to have a shout. Onward and upward with the BAGGIES.



Offal, the problem is we were relatively safe when the poor run started and when a poor run starts it is often hard to reverse. I think you are correct when you say one or two players maybe were not giving the performances they were capable of, however no player does this on purpose and its a team game. All players have bad games, when I watched the home game against Stoke when they scored the last minute goal, there were supporters around me in the Smethwick saying, here we go again another poor keeper and really berrating Ben Foster, now he's proved his worth. I am sure the players you are referring to will come good again, like Ben did.

I'm not concerned for next season, on the contrary I'm excited.

Keep the faith mate.


Afternoon all,

key players missing hampers any team - as does fatigue - and maybe we needed a couple more in the squad to help out. If that's a lesson to learn for next term then so be it. If players were concerned about their contracts running short then maybe the club can look at that as well.....inform them earlier who's in the plans for the next season etc. The good thing about our squad imo is that it only needs tweaking and not wholesale changes as we had in seasons gone by...with the right additions and some good youngsters coming through I personally think we'll do well again next term

no worries



Oswestry Baggie


I agree that Rosenberg is playing out of position as a striker. How about ball boy, assistant groundsman or program sales operative?

The Real Bully Hoo.


Kev in Mallorca

W Anchor from Dingle country

I suggest that your feeble attempt at humour at the expense of a proven international who for various reasons had a slow start to his career a WBAFC but persevered and in the end proved he ain't no mug would be more suited to a football club from the lower leagues closer to your place of residence.



mean - harsh and not called for really......did you not see the last few games when he was actually played up front?? we need to get behind him next term....not on his back mate.



The Real Bully Hoo.

I think MR could be an important player for us next season. He's hardly had a chance to build an understanding with the other players, especially the strikers but still looked an intelligent player with loads of natural ability. Let's see what he looks like after a pre-season.


Andy h

Unfortunately I did see rosenberg s last few games and it was the same ineffective performances that we have seen all season.

As I have stated all season Marcus Rosenberg is not a player that fits into our system, yes he has been played out of position at times which I have found difficult to comprehend when natural.midfield players have been available.

He can't be a bad player considering his cv but to often he has been shown to be a square peg trying to fit into a round hole.

For me he is the only negative in what has been otherwise a fantastic season.

I for one wish him all the best but hope for the clubs sake and his he moves on now and finds a club with a system that he will fit into



CantelloRocket 78

Some people have asked in recent weeks if Jonas Olsson has lost interest in playing for the Baggies-

personally, I believe that after several seasons of 'top' performances, and having played the majority of games last season, he may just be tired and a little off form-

but after seeing hs best mate and fellow Swede Rosenberg being given a fair bit of stick from some quarters, could it be he's also more than a little unhappy at present.....?

So much for 'fans' being supportive..........


Offer £20 million for Lukaku. This is not a risk as he has proved he can do it. You've got to speculate to accumulate. He wouldn't lose value but I still don't think he would come to us.

Kev in Mallorca


Where ya bin mar mate? 'ave ya broke yowa communication stick?

I've started changing them pink flags to white uns, bin waitin' for replies to a few of me posts to the chairman of the "Committeefinding Generals".

In answer to your suggestion above, What's the point? It would just give you and your like the chance to criticize the club of some publicity stunt with no hope of succeeding.

Jez moxey's belt buckle

Or we could spend 18million on a new stand and then get relegated twice in 2 seasons!!!



A lot of players have a good spell then lose it,so Torres wasn't a risk when he joined Chelsea?and Lukaku said he wants to be a hero at Chelsea.Hughes and Rednapp speculated at QPR didnt they?



oh that with or without wages??? seriously mate if he comes back its' for another season lone.....and we can spend the time looking for a longer term player or bringing on one from the academy.....JP will not risk that much money on one player.....and nor should he. Think long term sir




And where do you suggest we get the £20 million from Mboy?


I'm sure that some financial institution or another would be happy to lend us the money, on the back of £60 million pounds next season and subsequent seasons spent in the Premiership. I genuinely believe that Lukaku could be the difference between mid table comfort and a relegation battle. Even this season, we were virtually as close to being relegated as to the team ONE place above us!!!

Shropshire - that last sentence is a FACT and evidence I have used to back up my argument.

Kev in Mallorca

Mboy I'm pinning for you mar mate, anybody would think yove fell out with me and yo not talkin' to me makes me feel unloved!!!

Adeu xx SWALK

CantelloRocket 78

'He Said' from the Class of '68-

we're talking about Romelu Lukaku, the Baggies top scorer and 18 million pound hot-shot, with everyone waiting to see if he'll return next season-

and you try to 'have a dig' at me by claiming the issue is 'trivial' on the Baggies site-


I do need a good memory though, to keep up with your many usernames-

but I can't recall the imaginary posts you invented to paint me in a bad light-


CantelloRocket 78


back in January, Mboy expressed his disapproval on here that Lukaku was committed to spending the rest of the season with the Baggies, because he felt Rom was 'impeding' the progress of other players in the squad-

and now he wants us to bid 20 million for him!!

Some people change their opinions more often than wolves change managers, eh.........? :-)

He Said

CantelloRocket 78

Lukaku was committed in January and Mboy felt that Rom was 'hindering' our progress.

Fair play to you Rocket you have a superb memory, considering how trivial it is, i'm assuming you were'nt viewing old posts.


Boing Baggie

HS, no he has not he aint got a life so he sits up all night going through old post, and he calls me sad.


Lukaku WAS not and IS not our player. If we did have him next season, it would make more sense him playing more than Shane Long last season. I don't really care what spin you try to put on my posts but I am rigorously consistent.

Comprendez, wee man?

The Real Bully Hoo.

It's almost six days now since that great game. It's taken me all of this time to realise why despite playing Manchester United and twice coming back from three goals behind to end up sharing ten goals I was left feeling strangely empty. I was left with the feeling that I'd been robbed of something that was my right but what was it?

It's just come to me in a blinding flash. Lukaku's last goal was the reason. The goalkeeper should have pulled it back from a yard over the line. The linesman should have stood there with his flag pointing down while shaking his head and the referee ought to have waved our players complaints away before booking Brunt and Olsson for complaining. We should have lost 5-4.

WE WUZ ROBBED. It was Fergie's last game and we had the right to see ourselves cheated out of getting something out of it. We had the right to see Gary Lineker saying, 'well the whole of the ball might not have crossed the line. We were cheated of Fergie saying, 'these things even themselves out over the season.'

Oh well, there's always next season, perhaps Arsene will see Cazorla diving and applaud Mike Jones for booking him.

tonybrowns moustache

read in the national rag, mourhinio if and when he takes over chelski wants RL to stay at chelski, shame, but JP will have to buy a couple of strikers if we are to emulate this season, I personally think its a tough call to get some decent bods in with our stature, but hope fully mr ashworth has left mr garlic a list/email, and the albion scouts have been out doing reckies. referring to the comments above, I believe it was a great season and to finish 8th in the prem is no mean feat, the 8th best team in the land, however the dip in form , we only finished safe from the relegation zone by a small margin, saying that it was a strange season in all, a quite memorable one. boing boing

The Real Bully Hoo.

And the award for 'What Colour's the Sky in Your World?' goes to.

"Telford wolf

May 25, 2013 10:47 am

Well said Matt....... Gotta get rid of all the dead wood though.... Otherwise we'll end up like sheffield united and leeds"

Boing Baggie

Just as ive said many times on here Steve certain players aint trying, they should be shipped out.


The Real Bully Hoo.

I take on board what you have requested

I'm a Baggie of not one T Shirt but many.

I can respect many of your friends posts. but there is a streak of arrogance in his replies to some posts, and the crew fall in line behind him, this as developed over a long time and consequently it as become the norm.

I repeat i was the subject of his arrogance when i first posted, these posts were immediately backed up by the crew. I respect our older posties Jack and Cyril, that is not to say i always agree with their views. I will continue to offer constructive open debate with fellow posties, what i will not do is continually pat myself on the back and remind others of how far we have come etc etc.

We, three of us for 23 years travelled the North East and the South West straight from the centre of Brum, in a performance car to most away games. We were independent, and chose to stand or sit away from the travelling fans, this is reflected with my overall thoughts and opinions of WBA FC.

I welcome open debate with Wolfies, i ignore so called Wolfies in disguise. But the worsed for me is when a Baggie follower is wrongly accused of being a Wolfie because of his non conformist views.

Baggies Far and Wide

CantelloRocket 78

'Dwarfzappa' - the very name is deeply insulting.

I'll try to keep this as brief as possible-

When you first appeared on this site, you called yourself 'the class of '68'-

You then proceeded to 'think out loud', putting everyone into your own 'categories', myself and others were labelled as 'unambitious daydreamers', and I noticed you telling other posters that me and 'Happy Baggie' needed to 'get a life' because we confronted rival fan trouble-makers.

I then asked you very politely if you'd talk to me directly if you had a problem with me, but you responded by saying 'more rubbish and waffle', brushing me aside in a very rude way.

Recently, you've tried to attack me using a variety of names, and you've 'invented' posts that I never made, and claimed I'd spread trouble around the Internet which is completely untrue.

You've also branded me a 'little dwarf', deeply insulting, although you've never seen me, and I'm actually as tall as some players in the Albion squad.

You now claim that many intelligent people on here follow everything I say, indicating they have no mind of their own-

I find all this extremely arrogant and hypocritical, so I suggest you stop chasing me around and put your own house in order.

Absolutely disgusting.

( moderators, please allow my response to be published out of fairness ).

The Real Bully Hoo.

It just seems a shame to me that fellow Baggies are wasting time arguing with each other over what are effectively non-football matters.

You are right that he's a friend and is one of the most reasonable men I've ever met. I'd be very surprised if face to face you didn't get on but I won't push it any further.

I tried

Kev in Mallorca

Sir Dwarfzappa

Does your chauffeur watch the match with you or does he sit with the poor people and do you hold your little pinky up when you drink your bovril?

Kev in Mallorca

Sir DwarfzappA

I've supported WBAFC since I was conceived 61yrs 1mth 22days ago when while wearing his Baggies hat my old man together with me mutha after they had finished diggin' coal had a bath in front of the fire and 'cause the electric had gone there wasn't any radio so they had time to kill.

In all those years I have never fell in line with anybodies thoughts as I imagine you included me in "The Crew" because I have similar views to Cantello which may I say are not continually patting ourselves on the back but choose,not to ignore the faults of the team, but choose not to continually pick out certain players, arrogantly know that SC team choice and tactics are wrong, his substitutions were either the wrong players or at the wrong time etc,etc, all may I say after the event, in other words try to look with the positive and not the negative.

I think I have succeeded in dispelling the myth of "The Gang" and "The Committee" as "The Chairman" of "The Committeefinder Generals" refuses to acknowledge my posts so please be so kind as not to give the poor people another bandwagon to jump on in "The Crew".

I hope my arrogance in speaking out of turn will not delay,or indeed rule out, an invitation to the Ball at the Big House?

Humbly your's Kev in Mallorca and I bid you farewell.